Sunday, February 23, 2014

Guilty: born white, born male, born in America

The other day I was watching Downton Abby with my wife. One of the story arcs involved a budding relationship between a daughter of the aristocracy and a black jazz singer. It was a hidden relationship that was on the verge of being discovered and it was going to be scandalous. With Downton Abby being a period piece set in the 1920's who would be surprised that racism would rear its ugly head? But wait a minute... Just a darn minute... This was in Britain, not the USA. How could that be. I thought America was the most racist place on Earth. To learn that racism existed in England completely shattered my world view.

Once I recovered from the shock I started to think about the racism that really exists in America. Institutionally governments do not officially support racism - anymore. The fact is most institutions both government and non-government bend over backwards not to give even the appearance racism. Some go so far the other way that many white people lose out on opportunities they are well qualified for in favor of unqualified minorities. But who's gonna cry for the white guy.

No one is doubting that bigots exist across this land. African Americans are probably discriminated against every single day. That said, bigots exist across all lands everywhere on this Earth. Yeah, I know that's counter-intuitive for you living here in America since you've been told since forever that you are most racist, intolerant and nasty culture that has ever existed. Don't worry none of it is true, America is probably the most diverse and tolerant society that has ever existed. However, that does not fit the narrative the race-baiters want you to believe. Since the "r" word has lost it's punch due to over use the over arching theme that has found favor is that of white privilege.

White privilege says that due to the remnants of historical racism white people hold advantages in society that honor them over minorities in every possible scenario. Just like it's ridiculous to claim that bigotry doesn't exist, it's just as ridiculous to dispute the existence of white privilege at some level. Those of us who honestly go about our lives never giving in to the notion of white privilege because we don't personally condone or support it in any way still can't deny it's there. But beating whites over the head continuously with this sort of guilt trip is not going to help. People being people recoil when attacked, or lash out themselves. It would be far better to help the so-called privileged see where and if it actually exists in any given scenario.

Me being a white man I can't tell you what it's like to be a black man in this society. Who am I to say that they aren't discriminated against or feel discriminated against in any given situation. But to insinuate that I'm blind to white privilege because the way has always been paved with gold because of my white skin is dishonest, it's B.S. If I failed to become educated, failed to act in society with good manners and respectful language or committed serious transgressions that follow me through life I would expect to be discriminated against - and I would be. A white bum or criminal get's no special favor in polite society.

Every black man or woman I know who has done the things necessary to succeed has succeeded in their own right. Do they still face challenges? Probably. Who doesn't. I know a fine young white man who has worked really hard to become a fireman. He is now a qualified fireman and paramedic. He has been trying to get a full-time job as a fireman but has been basically told not even to bother trying to get on any of the big city departments near him. Why? Well because he's a white man. He looses out to untrained, uninitiated minorities and women every time. White privilege huh. But who's gonna cry for the white guy.

To think that somehow racism and prejudice is an American creation, born out of a legacy of slavery is intellectual dishonesty. African slavery and prejudicial bigotry against Africans predated America by centuries. So to is the notion that you can judge an entire race with such a broad brush and ascribe intellectual prowess or sloth-like values across the board. To think you can know what a person is like by the color of his skin - black or white - is ludicrous.

The idea of a colorblind society, the one that Martin Luther King dreamed of, died with the promotion of multiculturalism. Suddenly one culture was better than another and all cultures were better than American culture. At one time America was a melting pot of cultures that while excluding full participation of African descendants still included African culture into the booya. Today the multiculturalists have two views of white American culture, intolerant and privileged. The evidence is in all the text books school children are forced to read. Whites are guilty, Americans are guilty and above all men are guilty.

Things will never get better for a multi-racial society until multiculturalism is shown for the divisive and evil thing that it is. We are all in this together, let's stop the race-baiting, the race hustling and above all the bigotry of stereotyping any people by the color of their skin.


Monday, February 17, 2014

The Ministry of Information

 Mark this down in the one foot in the grave and another on a slippery rock category.

How much more Nazi/Soviet like are we going to let the Federal government get? The FCC intends to put overseers in newsrooms and TV studios across the country. In a move they say will put observers in the nation’s newsrooms in order to better understand “the process by which stories are selected.”

WTF? Seriously?

As if just having the presence of "government officials" looking over the shoulders of news directors and editors won't influence or alter what is disseminated as news. Do we have freedom of the press or not? We already have the NSA or Big Brother if you like collecting data on every single American. We will now have a Ministry of Information approving the news. When editors openly defy the Ministry will they find themselves subject to IRS audits?

Is this America?

According to Adweek the FCC could be backing off it's plans (for now) after a piece in Wall Street Journal by Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, was highly critical of the agency's motives. For now the agency, according to an FCC representative "has no intention of interfering in the coverage and editorial choices that journalists make. We're closely reviewing the proposed research design to determine if an alternative approach is merited."

We already have a real problem with much of the mainstream media carrying the water for the current regime in the White House. There are already instances where the White House has not so secretly investigated journalists who challenged them (including illegal wire taps). Would you be surprised if these brave men and women had threats leveled against their families, veiled threats of course?

This is creepy, is it not? The FCC says this is merely the agency’s initiative to get to the bottom of the mystery of why television and radio broadcasters are not telling the story the federal government wants them to tell. Wow, simply wow. It's not the job of the free press to tell the stories the government wants told. Our founding father's are surely turning somersaults in their graves.

The FCC's premise:
(1) There is an identifiable set of basic information needs that individuals need met to navigate everyday life, and that communities need to have met in order to thrive; (2) Low income and some minority and marginalized communities within metropolitan and rural areas and areas that are “lower-information” areas are likely to be systematically disadvantaged in both personal and community opportunities when information needs lag or go unmet; and (3) Information goods are public goods; the failure to provide them is, in part, a market failure.”

Essentially they intend to couch this invasive exercise in the language of fairness by implying that the disadvantaged are not getting information needed for the public good. Let's not beat around the bush anymore, censorship is on the way. Free people should be outraged.

 In this quote from the FCC's website we get a lesson in pure gobbledygook:
"From this exercise, as well as the preceding two years of discussions with national experts within the CPRN network and beyond, it became clear that an interdisciplinary framework such as the emerging communication ecological paradigm that analyzes the production and use of media and information holistically and that provides a more variegated, in depth understanding of categories of diversity of voices and participation within and across communities, lends itself particularly well to the set of questions posed by the FCC. It incorporates elements from a wide range of disciplines cited above, including economics; captures the interactive nature and complexities of demographic and information trends across the entire media ecosystem; and allows for a translation from the local community level to the national aggregate levels of data necessary for policy making."

The observation process alone will have a chilling affect on news broadcasting, it has to. Simply put the government is going to use these pointy nose overseers to ensure the public good is being served in every nook and cranny and I believe ultimately threaten to revoke the broadcast charters if it isn't.

The government could easily create it's own broadcasting companies to do this sort of thing and be perfectly within their rights to do so. Oh wait, they already have - it's called PBS and NPR. So this move is really to spook the private companies that make up the free press into toeing the government line. This is shameful.

My next question is why the silence from the mainstream media? If this was George W Bush's FCC there would be an uproar and rightly so. I goes back to my previous post: Who's gonna stop him? The press has made it's bed with the Obama regime and now they shall lie in it.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Who's gonna stop him? Part II

The Obama administration does what it wants...

Where is the outrage over the lawlessness of the Obama administration? It's unfortunately understandable that the media pays only lip service to the blatant lies and unconstitutional unlegislated actions taken by the executive branch, we have come to expect that. There is some outrage on talk radio and Fox News, but it does not translate into public exasperation or outcries because it is not reinforced day after day by the New York Times, the big three networks or the wire services.

The IRS scandal alone is undoubtedly criminal but the President gets to declare on national TV that there is not a smidgen of of impropriety and that's it, case closed. Any other administration - even a Democratic one - would be smeared ceaselessly with just the appearance of this sort of impropriety. Consider the breadth and scope of the NSA domestic spying issue, ironically brought to the light of day by an illegal act itself. It should be making everyone upset, particularly the liberal left. But it doesn't. Why? Instead of outrage and indignation 60 Minutes, a stalwart watchdog of government wrongdoing turns over the NSA scandal to a spokesmen, a former FBI official to essentially tell us to move along, there's nothing to see here. Two days later he lands a sweetheart job in New York City that was greased by the folks in Washington.

It doesn't end with these stories. The administration has since day one chosen which provision of the law it wants to enforce. The executive branch is supposed to execute the legislation the legislative branch passes. Instead the legislature sits idly by while the Obama administration does what it wants...The Affordable Care Act has had parts delayed or ignored without consent of the Congress numerous times and there has been no real outrage. This is the law the President lobbied for and signed. The Justice Department declares without the approval of the legislature what laws it will enforce and which laws it will look the other way on. This is clearly illegal, but no one on Capitol Hill pushes back. Why? Why the apathy across the board?

I hear nothing at work, almost nothing in my day to day interaction with family and friends and surely nothing on the editorial page. There can only be a few explanations for this silence. Fatigue is the one I expect the most. The strategy to overwhelm the senses is a good one. Essentially there are so many things to be outraged over that one loses the ability to sustain his ire. I also think that people in the media will not go after this President in the way it is deserved because of the color of his skin. There I said it.

Explain how a stupid parochial tit for tat scandal about a traffic jam in New Jersey could garner more minutes and column inches (and bits and bytes) in the major media than a scandal involving the blatant misuse of IRS power if there isn't some kind of prejudice going on. You can't. No one can.

It seems that the people diametrically opposed to this administration are content now to ride out the last few years and let the chips fall where they may. It may become, it will become the lost decade economically. There will have been social changes that will be permanent, but even the health care legislation will need major overhauling - it's unworkable the way it is. The rest of the damage to the economy is likely to be recoverable. The ridiculous official unemployment rate that gets reported doesn't reflect the fact that millions of people that want to work and get ahead don't because of the way the government handles fiscal policy, regulations and taxes. This too is reversible, eventually. Unfortunately the damage to the real people who have been without work and those of us whose income has stagnated in the face of rising costs for food, fuel and taxes (direct and indirect) will continue to devastate. It's unconscionable that the news media refuses to examine the real effects of this administration's follies is having simply because they have so much invested in the appearance of the President's success. We haven't even touched on his foreign policy failures.

We should be outraged with this administration, I know I am. It sometimes feels like I'm all alone - at least in my circles. No one want's to hear me rant, they are tired of it. It doesn't matter what the facts are, just shut up please. This is how the Obama administration gets away with it - who's gonna stop it?


Monday, February 10, 2014

GNP: Grand New Party: Stupid is as Stupid does

After Watergate the Republican party of Minnesota changed it's name. It became the Independent Republican Party. The party needed to separate itself from the brand that brought you Nixon. Whether this went on in other states around the country I do not know. The IR party was decidedly more moderate across the board than the national party. Not surprising really - it was Minnesota after all. This lasted until after Reagan and then the party feeling cleansed changed it's name back.

During that period the party had some success. There were several US senators and a number of congressmen that were well respected in DC. Those days are gone. Still, even to this day the state is fairly close to being 50/50 overall when votes are tallied. In recent years we've had a number of recounts and spectacularly close contests, but the likelihood of today's Republican party holding a major office or controlling anything in the near term is dicey at best. The last election saw a clean sweep of all statewide offices for the DFL.

The point is the Republican brand is toast in Minnesota and probably the rest of the country too. Most of it is of their own doing, but of course the major media is glad to pile on. Re-branding is not likely to happen for a host of reasons, not the least of which is the complete arrogance of the entrenched party system. There are plenty of conservatives and constitutionalists who have a brand name they often like to use - the Stupid Party. It's an apt name. As Michael Walsh has said "any party that can't sell liberty and freedom doesn't deserve to be in power". He's right! To say the party has a communication problem is an understatement.

To rise above the berm of the media wall and reframe the policies the New York Times, Time magazine and all the alphabet TV networks mischaracterize for the benefit of the Democrats is fundamental, but a seemingly insurmountable task for the Stupid Party. While Democrats literally sell dependency and envy they are treated as serious, caring intellectuals, whereas the Republicans who peddle silly things like lower taxes and personal responsibility are treated in the media as imbecilic and of course that old standby pejorative mean-spirited.

Five years ago along comes a movement that came to be called the Tea Party. It is not nor was it ever a political party. It was movement that felt more at home in the Republican Party than with the Democrats. I was there when it started here in Minnesota. It was a call to return government, the Federal government back to it's constitutional mandates. It was not anything like what the major media came to portray it in the subsequent five years. Still, the tar and feathers stuck in the minds of the unwashed masses, therefore I doubt it will sustain. Not that the Republican Party - the establishment party - embraced it anyway. I feel it could have been a winning strategy had the party took it up and refused to let the left turn it into a code word for racist.

The establishment party known as the GOP is in deed if not word a "lite" version of the Democratic party. Both party's are responsible for the state the country is in. Both are tied lock, stock and barrel to the crony capitalism of the DC lobbying establishment for the benefit of corporations, foreign trade and, of course, above all else themselves. I have concluded a long ago that the Democrats are a lost cause for actual positive change, and believe them to be the Dangerous Party. The Stupid Party has a slim, microscopically thin chance of redemption. Will it happen? Not likely.

It seems a shame that right now we have a whole generation of young people raised on the bunk the liberals have been selling that are now stepping into the grown-up world with such dim prospects. They watched their own parents struggle to achieve or remain in the middle class and can't even see themselves with a life as good as that. They do all the right things, but find that only a few of them ever crawl out from under a mountain of college debt to find their own success - while their still young. There is no indication that things are going to get better for them anytime soon.

There is hope. I like what I hear from Rand Paul and a few other Republicans. In a recent speech he takes a shot at the notion that the Republicans should cede anything to the Democrats particularly when the they are failing their "constituents" so miserably...

Paul suggested that Republicans should decide if they are going to “go bold” on fiscal issues or become “Democrat light.”
“We need to talk about how when you borrow and spend money, you steal the value of the dollar. Who does it hurt? Not the wealthy. It hurts the working class,” Paul said at the event, hosted by political commentator Erick Erickson.
“These are issues that we shouldn’t give up and say, ‘oh, issues of poverty, Democrats care more.’ Not only do they not care more, their policies don’t work and aren’t working so we shouldn’t give them the high moral ground,” Paul added.
Paul recalled a letter that he wrote to President Obama when sequestration started to take effect.
“Why don’t we look for the $100 billion that is missing – we don’t know where $100 billion is. It was spent, but every year within a $3.8 trillion budget there’s $100 billion not accounted for, a little more than $100 billion,” Paul said he wrote in the letter. “Why don’t we look for it?”
One hundred billion dollars lost every year. Lost? That's larger than the annual budgets of 48 states. It's just pocket change to the Federal government, apparently it's not even worth looking in the Federal couch cushions. Let's say $20 billion is the military's famous "black budget" that's still $80 billion lost. It boggles the mind. I'm getting sidetracked...

There is hope, right? Can the Republican party finally stand up proudly, re-frame itself and articulate a message in a way that those aligned against them in the major media can't easily nullify? Can anyone on the center/right crush the notion that government dependency is the hope and change we need. That's what the other guys are selling and America is lapping it up. How sad.